The Public Services Joint Standing Negotiating Committee (PSJSNC) which consists of representatives of the TUC (Ghana), the Security Service and other Labour Unions operating within the Public Sector is negotiating the Base Pay for 2021 and 2022.
It could be recalled that the Union drew the attention of Government on the need to provide for salary increment for 2021 following media statements of a possible freeze in wages and the presentation of the budget for 2021 to Parliament.
These rumours on possible salaries increments freeze for public sector workers lingered for sometime until the president finally debunked those rumours when he met leaders of organised labour at Ejisu.
Subsequent to this, salary negotiations for 2021 was placed on the agenda and Labour entered the process with optimism. The PSJSNC has subsequently met a number of times to negotiate the Base Pay for 2021 as well as that of 2022.
Labour entered this negotiation in good faith with a propoal of 15% increment for 2021 and another 15% for 2022. Meanwhile, Government expressed its challenges including ability to pay, sustainability of the economy and the need for a post-Covid recovery of the economy.
Subsequently, after series of meetings and extensive deliberations Government now stands at *4% increment for 2021 and 6% increment for 2022 while Labour stands at 10% increment for 2021 and another 10% increment for 2022
However no agreement has been reached as at the end of the month of June and the joint negotiation is said to restart from the first of July 2021.
From every indication, government is financially handicapped now as such, any high increment in wages and salaries will further burden the economy which might result in its collapse.
The 4% increment for 2021 and 6% for 2022 is nothing to write home about since prices of goods and services have been increased astronomically in multiple times since the beginning of the year.
In view of this, the government proposed amount won't bring any significant change in the economic situations of government workers and they will continue to face hardships regardless of the Increments.
It is now evidently clear that, fuel prices go up at any point in time and there should be a corresponding increase in the salaries of workers in order for them to respond appropriately to the shocks the intermittent fuel price hikes brings along
The 10% for both 2021 and 2022 proposed by organised labour wouldn't result in any significant change but it's way better than the proposed amounts from government.
If government insist on the 4% and 6% increment for 2021 and 2022 respectively, it could result in a lot of labour unrest since most government workers are eagerly waiting for some significant percentage in the increment in their wages and salaries as a result of the intermittent increments in the prices of goods and services.
The union leaders must ensure they press on the labour commission and all the appropriate bodies to ensure they secure a good deal for the ordinary Ghanaian worker.
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